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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Langhorne, Bucks Co. PA.
Re: Headed out to Lancaster Co. SGL 220
HOLY Schnikies... Or fill in your blank there...
Hit 3 state game lands today and the dog and I literally flushed 35-40 pheasants! The PGC has really outdone themselves! The birds I ran into today were good runners, trying their best to avoid my pointer. They were excellent flyers as well. After the flush most birds flew at least 75 yds or more before landing. With the mild breeze today it made their flight lines erratic, making for more challenging shooting.
Ended up finding a well stocked public parcel closer than SGL 220 and stopped there first. Ran into a guy my age and his 8 yr old mentored youth son. We had ears a cackle right off the parking lot and I offered to try to put his boy on the shot for the bird. We got the boy in place and I worked the other side pushing the flushed bird in front of the boy. He shot and missed, behind the bird, but man was he excited. He got a shot withing 3 minutes of stepping from the car! They ended up following me and the dog around fr about 2 hours or so, flushing a total of 7 birds for the boy and offering up 4 shot opportunities. LR ended up connecting on the 7th bird we saw. I held the dog on point and walked the boy within 6 feet of the bird before it jumped, flew straight away at about his eye level and watched as the 8yr old crumpled te rooster with his 20 Ga.! That was awesome.
By this time it was about 10-10:30am and they decided they wanted to take off and get the boy some breakfast. They thanked me and took off.
Now, I had seen birds at ranges I believe I coulda crushed em already this morning and could barely wait since I hadn't even taken my gun from its holster yet. I carried my T/C contender with a super 16" barrel in .410Ga. It's a fun little shooter and very light to carry on long days. I hunted that SGL (which shall go unnamed) until about 12:30, seeing a total of 16 birds and bagging one in flight at 20 yds with my pistol.
Drive a little farther north and visited a SGL that had a small pheasant stocking, but was steep and dense enough, I expected to see a few grouse or woodcock. I ended up seeing 3 pheasants here and missing shots at all three... Embarrassing really, they were super close but the dog was just about on em before they flushed. They bounced off the thickets before clearing them and taking flight. [censored], screw it, I just missed on a few gimme shots.
The final SGL I stopped at was an old stand by. I've seen plenty of pheasants and grouse there. No grouse today but I saw a ton of pheasants. The remaining birds I kicked up here were cool. 3 times I kicked up triples, the three birds all breaking different directions and confusing the [censored] out of my dog. I was so amazed at the flushes, each time it happened, I never even raised my gun. Distracted watching the action I guess. Honestly, I stopped counting flushes at 30, but I know I saw more than 5 more. I'd say at the high end of 35-40 birds, all roosters.
I'd like to thank the PGC for their efforts! I've been hunting pheasants in Pa for 20+ years and have never had a better day of birding. It felt like the days my old man used to tell me about when he hunted them as a boy. They were everywhere and acting like they were native, wily.
I did a good bit of driving today, pushing 230miles round trip, but could have stayed at the first SGL and filled my bag easily but wanted to see some scenery. I'd have to say that even considering the miles driven and the gas burned, it was WELL worth it, just watching that little boy smacking his first pheasant alone....
Enjoy your days in the field guys, they cannot be replaced or relived.